Monday, November 17, 2008

Now Not the Time to strip GM's Management Either

Now is not the time to strip GM's managment, either -- not when the company is finally being run by an engineer, Japanese style (a Boeing guy) instead of a salesman; not just when said engineer is directing GM through a giant leap forward to simple, almost foolproof, 100 mpg electric drive-hybrids.

The Big 3 re-invented themselves once before -- remember the first oil crises of the late 70s. More digital (electric) and less analog (gas) technology make the engineering more a matter of chalking equations on a blackboard then endlessly dueling with mother nature's whims.

As for all the bellyaching about high Big 3 labor costs: just when America should (hopefully) be stepping back from the homegrown race to the bottom as well as the downward pressure on wages from both (!) foreign born workers at home (at levels unique in all the OECD) as well as abroad -- via legislation that puts strong supports under the price of American labor (hopefully doubling the minimum wage to half the "true" average wage and hopefully mandating a version of sector-wide labor agreements) -- is not the time to be crushing the auto industry's gold standard of wages and (just imagine!) benefits.

Our blue collar workers right now seem to be caught between the red, white and blue conservatives who don't happen to care what happens to working Americans and supposed progressives who don't seem to care at all about the survival of the red, white and blue's flagship industries. Hopefully whoever is left will have enough sense to care about both; hopefully they make up the majority.

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